California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education — Highlights of Nov 17th meeting

Ellen Wheeler and Julie Cates of the League of Women Voters attended the November 17th California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education in Oakland.   The Commission includes five high ranking Assemblymembers – Attending the meetings and making public comments is a good way to connect with them and show them the good work underway in Santa Clara County and the Strong Start Commission.

Key Take-Aways:

  • This was the third quarterly meeting for the Commission.  The topic for this “learning session” was “Sustaining an Early Learning Workforce.”   
  • The presenters and research pointed out the dismal wages (minimum wage level) and low educational attainment of today’s child care and preschool educators.    
  • Many of the public comment speakers stated need for collective bargaining and union membership as way to secure higher wages for early learning educators.
  • The Commission has started four subcommittees on finance, access, workforce and family engagement.     
  • The Commission and its subcommittees will continue to meet quarterly with a goal of publishing its recommendations by mid 2019.

Ellen and Julie each made comments in the Public Hearing section of the meeting.   To view the comments go to the video 2:10 (2 hours, 10 minutes).  

  •      Ellen commented that her school district, Mountain View Whisman, has been able to provide preschool slots to 3- and 4-year olds, but the staff face the issues of low pay and low educational supports discussed by the presenters.   
  •     Julie provided the Santa Clara County Early Learning Master Plan Abstract to each of the Commissions and asked the Commissioners to look at its recommendations.